Georgia (7-5, SEC) Vs. TCU (6-6, Big 12)
Series Record: Georgia Leads 3-0
WHAT’S AT STAKE
TCU is trying to avoid just the third losing season in Gary Patterson’s 16 full seasons as coach. The Horned Frogs were 5-6 in 2004 and 4-8 in 2013. TCU also is trying to push its 15-15-1 bowl record above .500. Georgia is seeking to earn a bowl victory for the third straight season after winning the Belk Bowl in 2014 and the TaxSlayer Bowl last season.
Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel vs. TCU run defense: Chubb and Michel have combined to run for 1,741 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, but Georgia actually ranked just ninth in the SEC in rushing offense. Chubb and Michel have both indicated they plan to return to school next year, and they could carry some momentum into the offseason by running wild against a TCU defense allowing 4.1 yards per carry.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Georgia: QB Jacob Eason — This true freshman took over as Georgia’s starting quarterback in the second game of the season and has thrown for 2,266 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. A big performance in the Liberty Bowl could give Eason some major momentum as he gets ready for his sophomore season.
TCU: LB Travin Howard — He underwent an emergency appendectomy in fall camp and still managed to post a Big 12-leading 125 tackles. His ability to slow down Georgia’s dynamic duo of Chubb and Michel could go a long way toward determining the outcome of this game.
FACTS & FIGURES
TCU has won eight of its last 10 bowl games and owns a 9-5 bowl record under Patterson. Georgia is playing in a bowl for the 20th straight season, which represents the third-longest active streak behind Florida State (35) and Virginia Tech (24). An SEC team has won the Liberty Bowl each of the last three years. Mississippi State beat Rice in 2013, Texas A&M defeated West Virginia in 2014 and Arkansas knocked off Kansas State last season. This marks the first time Georgia and TCU have faced each other since 1988.
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